Third Degree Burns
Third degree burns affect the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, causing charring of skin or a translucent white color, with coagulated vessels visible just below the skin surface. These burn areas may be numb, but the person may complain of pain. This pain is usually because of second-degree burns. Healing from third-degree burns is very slow due the skin tissue and structures being destroyed. Third-degree burns usually result in extensive scarring.
- Peeling skin
- Shock (pale, clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and finger nails)
- White or charred skin
First Aid for Severe Burns: (Second & Third-Degree)
- DO NOT remove burnt clothing (unless it comes off easily), but do ensure that the victim is not in contact with burning or smoldering materials.
- Make sure the victim is breathing. If breathing has stopped or the victim's airway is blocked then open the airway and if necessary begin CPR.
- If the victim is breathing, cover the burn with a cool moist sterile bandage or clean cloth. DO NOT use a blanket or towel; a sheet is best for large burns. DO NOT apply any ointments and avoid breaking blisters.
- If fingers or toes have been burned, separate them with dry sterile, non-adhesive dressings.
- Elevate the burned area and protect it from pressure or friction.
- Take steps to prevent shock. Lay the victim flat elevate the feet about 12 inches, and cover the victim with a coat or blanket. DO NOT place the victim in the shock position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected or if it makes the victim uncomfortable.
- Continue to monitor the victim's vital signs (breathing, pulse, blood pressure).
- DO NOT apply ointment, butter, ice, medications, fluffy cotton dressing, adhesive bandages, cream, oil spray, or any household remedy to a burn. This can interfere with proper healing.
- DO NOT allow the burn to become contaminated. Avoid breathing or coughing on the burned area.
- DO NOT disturb blisters or dead skin.
- DO NOT apply cold compresses and DO NOT immerse a severe burn in cold water. This can cause shock.
- DO NOT place a pillow under the victim's head if there is an airway burn and they are lying down. This can close the airway.